Pena Immediately Suspended After 1,700 Drug Violations

Published: May 24, 2012 03:01 pm EDT

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board announced on Thursday, May 24 that it has suspended trainer Lou Pena effective immediately and indefinitely after it found that horses under his care were illegally drugged in nearly 700 races in New York State

. It has been announced that horses from his stable have amassed more than 1,700 equine drug violations.

The contents of a NYSRWB release regarding the issue appears below, followed by a copy of the official ruling.


Partnership with New Jersey Racing Commission led to comprehensive review of Pena’s horses’ veterinary records, uncovering a litany of violations

RWB will seek to recover purse monies won with horses that were illegally drugged and will consider possible rule changes regarding veterinary records

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board, after a comprehensive and groundbreaking investigation with assistance from racing officials from New Jersey, has suspended harness trainer Luis (Lou) Pena immediately and indefinitely for illegally drugging horses in nearly 700 races in New York State and amassing more than 1,700 equine drug violations.

In addition to the immediate suspension, Pena faces a possible revocation of his license to participate in New York State and substantial fines (up to $25,000 per violation). The Board’s overall investigation into the matter is ongoing and further actions, including the recovery of more than $2.5 million in purse monies won with horses that were illegally drugged and possible rule changes regarding access and disclosure of veterinary records, are possible.

Pena regularly raced horses between New York while stabling them in New Jersey. New York formed a partnership with New Jersey which allowed for a joint review of veterinarian records. This collaboration between the two state racing agencies led the Racing and Wagering Board to take this unprecedented action. The investigation determined that Pena amassed a total of 1,719 equine drug violations in 675 races between January 2010 and April 2012.

“I applaud and thank NJRC Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki and the entire Racing Commission for partnering with New York State on this important investigation and look forward to continuing the collaboration to bring increased integrity and accountability to horse racing,” said Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John D. Sabini.

Pena’s drug violations from 2010 to present included a litany of substances, most of which were administered to horses outside the permitted timeframe as set forth by Board rules. A full copy of the Notice of Suspension and Hearing, which includes a detailed list of the drugs administered, may be found here.

A hearing into the matter has been scheduled for May 30, 2012.



Mr Robinski, you have a sharp memory and thank you for the kind words. I have often read and agreed with many of your comments as well. My observations and comments while at times may seem harsh and critical stem from my love of this wonderful game of horseracing. One thing I have noticed is that many of the same people regularly use this forum to comment, criticize,or compliment all things racing.

I believe at times we have all done some of each. This proves and reinforces the fact that there are many people myself included who are very passionate about horse racing. While we may differ in our opinions on what is wrong with the sport and how to fix it one thing is abundantly clear and that is that there are many true horse racing fans out there who still enjoy this game and would like to see it thrive. Another thing i am sure of is that I believe we would all like to see a sport that is as fair as possible to everyone involved from trainers, jockeys, drivers, grooms, owners and of course fans/bettors. What we all need to realize and i am confident most of us do is that we all need each other if this game is to survive. This great sport will not survive on its own and we all are in a position to do something about it to support it.

We can invest as owners,we can come to the track and bet as fans and we can put forth ideas that are in the best interest of the game. So often in other sports we hear about how nobody is bigger then the game. It was said about Gretzky and Lemieux and Jordan and Montana. The same is true of racing. Racing IS the game. It is not one individual horse or trainer or jockey. As good as Secretariat or Niatross or most recently the Beach were on their own they can not save racing. What will save racing is when racing as a whole comes together from all cities and all levels and all breeds to make this game honest, safe , fair and most of all enjoyalbe for all participants (including the horses). Then and only then will you see this great game thrive again.

I used to love going to the track as I am sure many people who post on this forum do. I have been going since before i was a teenager. Many years have gone by and i often find myself thinking or talking about the old days with my brother when we would go to the track buy a hot dog or an ice cream go lean on the rail and watch history be written and rewritten by some great names in this sport from both breeds. Call me a fool or call me an optimist but I do believe racing can regain its premier spot as the main show in town. No slots can compare with the thrill of a stretch run in a Queens Plate or an NA Cup. When the steroid scandal crept into baseball it took away from the home run titles.Suddenly McGwire and Canseco were not as good as we thought. The greatness of sport can only be fully appreciated when the athletes natural abilities make the great. When their own God given talents seperate them from the rest. Secretariat and Niatross still amaze me to this day.

I am happy to see measures taken to clean this sport up. I don't want a witch hunt anymore then the next guy. I appreciate and admire so many good people in racing who work hard from sun up to sun down to put on a show which I have enjoyed for soThere is still a chance to save this great game. But the clock is ticking and unfortunately in this race time does matter.

The Geni will not go back in the bottle. New York will adopt this new standard, and other jurisdictions will be forced to follow suit. The betting public will not wager in jurisdictions that do not have a similar policy. One knowlegable and oft time contributer in this forum, Mr. Joe Riga predicted similar to this 2 years ago.

What a colossal joke and embarrassment to the ny wagering board and to the RCI whose president was quoted as saying "we've been looking at ways to ratchet up fines and deal with habitual offenders and NY may have given us the answers we have been looking for. Really. No trainer in NA would or should pass this useless scrutiny. All of this stuff is therapeutic. None of these "drugs" are performance enhancers-the stuff that is killing the industry. The ones the RCI have been unable to deal with, all the while debating the merits of banning lasix etc and other useless policy. Its time to do some serious work, instead of bureaucratic work, and catch the legitimate performance enhancers or this industry, with announcements like this prove, is in big time trouble with its current leadership.

So many people here commenting on how Mr Pena is being treated unfairly. I have one simple question. Where is the fairness to all us bettors and fans who supported this industry for so long and continue to receive nothing but contempt whenever we voice our opinions about it????

In response to Blair Burgess' comment comparing Pena's suspension with Al Capone's sentence for tax evasion. What is wrong with that? He did or was complicit in doing it? To quote Malcom X - "By any means necessary".

i'm one of those that stood up for Pena.
I'll repeat what i said before "if anyone thinks that a guy that never graduated high school has come up with some "super juice" that no other trainer has access to than you're dreaming"
Having said that this latest move does certainly smell like a witch hunt.
I've was involved in this industry for many years in my past and there MUST be a lot of trainers who have raced in NY state that are extremely worried today.

I've worked for many trainers who used various injectables and I've done so myself...ACTH is one of the many not hard on horses examples in the that list of so called infractions by Mr Pena.
In Pena's case apparently he had his vet do EVERYTHING and paid the price instead of saving money and doing it himself.
If NY goes into the vet records of EVERY trainer racing in the state and applys the same criteria I surmise that that there would be ZERO top 20 trainers at every track in the state that would not be facing the same fate as Mr Pena
If vet records and NOT postitive tests are to be the new criteria in NY state than apply the same rules to all and let the chips fall where they may and that would be fair.
What has just happened to Mr Pena at this point in time is NOT fair.

Interesting commnents. So If I understand correctly now it's all the vets fault? Boy am I glad I quit.

I feel most of you are missing the point here. This is not the solution. These meds are not causing his horses to run off the screen. These are helping the horse from the rigors of weekly racing. they are used by every trainer who looks after his animals health properly.
This will only lead to no vet records being kept and trainers and employees doing it themselves. Vet records will become coded, as they are somewhat with some vets already.
This will not stand up in court.
If used outside of the guidelines these drugs WILL test positive.
The stuff that gives Lou his edge is not in his vet records.
these records must be incomplete, where is all the bute and banamine and dantrium at 48 hrs?
these horses would have 2 of those 3 every startg as even most b track claimers would.
Hanging people by stuff written on paper will only cause people to not right it on paper.
this is a step backwards.

Pena has the nerve to say its because hes 'brown"? r u serious.....
YOU DONT GO FROM A MEDIOCORE DRIVER at Cal Expo to NOT driving at all to leading trainer in the counrty in 1 flipping year???!!? Really Pena?

Mr. Decker, I am woefully aware that Mr. Pena is not alone in his behavior. He is just the most obvious.If we are going to claim our piece of the gaming pie, the product must be squeaky clean. It is hasn't been for years.I don't feel that this is a witchhunt; but I realize it might sound "unfair". Make no mistake about this: we are in the fight of our lives here. Dirty politicians can be voted out of office (the best of luck to your fighting what is ,at the very least, bad policy for Ontario).But we need what may seem like draconian efforts to rid ourselves of the horrible reputation that we carry in the eyes of the betting and the possibly persuadeable future betting public.I am pretty much in lockstep with Jeff Gural on these issues.
After this political situation is addressed in Ontario, the real basic issue of trust and fairness in our sport (if that sounds naive, I apoligize) needs to be dealt with. We need to be the cleanest of clean; then we need to market our product as if we know our sport is fighting for its very existence as a viable sport/business/and economic engine for the betterment of our immediate neighborhoods all over North America. And, in this "reality show" world we live in, maybe we are missing an opportunity : here is an off the wall idea...pillory the guilty at the tracks and let the betting public throw rotten vegetables at them, if the guilty are agreeable.Put an Ontario or maybe a North American Wyatt Earp in charge of cleaning up this mess.
The possible tie in of our sport with what's coming in the way of sports betting becoming legal in our jurisdictions, should enough of a reason to initiate and follow thru on drastic action.And I am only going to mention Mr. Pena this last time: is there anyone out there that really believes the statistics enjoyed by Mr. Pena where compliled from wise training or race luck? If there is...well then you are even more naive than I . See you at the races! Jim

Jeff Gural is crying the blues to to the horseman after he is spending 90 million to build a new grandstand...Jeff wake up...what planet are you one...Lou Pena has not killed racing at the Meadowlads...I live in NY and you are not going to improve anything by spending 90 are targeting the wrong you not look at declining figures in racing across the US...keep spending millions !!

As a bettor I find it more then a little disturbing how many people are calling this a soc alled witch hunt and poor ol Mr pena why only him. Yes I agree why only him? I'l tell you why. It's very simple for those of you who refuse to see. The squeeky wheel gets the grease. PERIOD. Maybe they are singling out Mr Pena but it is all with good reason. he is the one with the ridiculous win percentage. he is the one whose 30K claimers end up world beaters. he is the one whose horse can go parked an entire mile and draw off in the stretch. And on and on. So if not him then who????? Go after the big guy who is very suspect and then yes by all means go after the rest. But please enough with the sympathy already. I don't care who they start with and who they end with. Just get all the cheaters out of the game, one at a time or ten at a time. The game will be better for it. For an industry who is dying by the second I find it ridiculusly laughable the resistance being put up by some to get this cleaned up. Are so many of you out there so concerned you will get caught? Good. You should be.

I have read through the comments from one and all. Seems that these medications are used by a lot of trainers. Why were their vet records not checked and proper suspensions not issued in any jurisdiction for other trainers?

Seems we also need to keep an eye on what some medications have in helping the horse and not punish people trying to keep their horses sound. In saying that, some medications talked about were not theraputic to the horse or used in the wrong context.

Why was the vet(s) who administered these medications not suspended as well knowing these drugs and or timelines of administration were not legal?

Not good press, but reality.

Keep going.

Greg Parke

Make sure Mr Pena gets "Due Process".If found guilty--ZERO TOLERANCE. Ban Him for life!

Lets look at the bottom line. He is winning at 25 to 30 % with a boat load of starters. Does any sane person really believe he is that much a better trainer the the rest? He has found a combination of drugs that work and for the most part are undetected. You don't claim a middle lever claimer and win the invite at the meadowlands in sub 48. You don't claim horses off top trainers and bring them back in a week and knock 2 to 3 seconds off their lifetime mark over and over again. Hopefully this will be the last time we ever see him listed in a program. On a personal note...I decided last year not to ever place a wager at a track where he is allowed to enter a horse

wally slopianka

I have read the comments here and whats available from the investigation and there is no mention of the vets who gave these treatments. So does that mean that the vets walk away unscaved cause ultimately they are the ones who end up deciding to give these shots at said times, if they shouldnt have been given at these times, then why did they get done? Everything i have seen, there is no mention of the vets involved, seems a little too convenient that they somehow get a walk, their involvement in this seems too much to just get swept under.

Any way you slice it, it seems more than a little unfair that Lou Pena is the only trainer being held to this testing. What is the justification for that? I'll bet you if they were to use this testing for every trainer in New York, Lou Pena would have plenty of company being suspended. Why only Lou Pena ?

In reply to by kopas

John, NY State gives withdrawal times AND "legal" times to administer druges. In other words you can give drugs within parameters which will not test positive (and they tell you what these times are) and still be in violation of the "legal" rules. These rules state as in the case of Robaxin for instance that even though the drug will not test for 48 hrs, it is illegal to give it within 72 hrs. Therefore, you can be in violation without testing positive with a multitude of drugs. Please take the time to check out the NYSRWB website. Most vets in NY go by withdrawal times and simply ignore "legal" times for the simple reason that they have never been enforced (should I say until now).If they are thinking of purse redistribution for the $2.5M, are they also going to check the next horse in line to receive the money?

Wow what a flashy title 1700 drug violation. Im sure since they are checking Mr Penas vet records that they will also check other trainers? No probably not Im sure he is the only bad apple. No respect for Lou Pena but come on this is a witch hunt if he is the only trainer you are going to hold to this standard.

Whether or not Luis "Lou' Pena deserves the close scrunity or not, it is all to apparent that the tools of detection are not as good as those of inspection of vet records. I think this should be the way of the future for all horses to be entered. Not only do the horses need their certain shots (ie coggins test) to race, they should also submit a vet record of ALL things injected into the horse with a timestamp of when it was administered.

I am not saying to quit the drug testing but to add this into the equation. Seems we will get less trainers taking the short cut to the winner circle. The owners should be for it as it will cut down on their monthly bills to the vet.

Anything that helps to create a level playing field for the horses on the track will benefit all concnerned, including those that wager upon them. We will see less 2/5 shots running off in another lifetiime mark and then never to be heard from again as in the case of some horses

While there is no arguement Mr. Pena should be suspended for his infractions, you have to remember these were not positive tests, they were from vet records. It is in fact discrimination against him to pull vet records on his horses and no one elses. Do we really think he is the only one in the industry that would have these violations if all vet records were pulled? I bet this ruling is very scary for some trainers.

In reply to by gisman

There is an argument that Mr. Pena will make in court, and rightly so whether you like him or not. Rules must be applied evenly across the board. Mr. Pena's attorneys will seek to have all records evaluated as his were. The findings will clearly show violations by other trainers. The issue will thus become why is he being singled out and not others. While many are celebrating Pena's plight, many now are walking in fear of what the future may hold for them.

In reply to by shytownlds

Larry D you are 100% right.How many trainers are scared stiff today that there next to be looked at UNDER THE SAME MICROSCOPE ? If so, we wont have any trainers if the race commision holds them to the same standard.Remember, this is really a audit of the VET, NOT the trainer.Unless they have written instructions from Lou Pena directed to the vet to administer these drugs,then I really dont think they have anything that will stand up in court.Ive been saying ZERO tolerance to all drugs except theraputic.Any work done on any racehorse by a vet should be handed in to the commision.When a vet comes on grounds they should have any drugs they intend to use authorized BEFORE they are allowed on grounds.If your gonna race at Mohawk,you should have horse on grounds at least 15 days before they race.The real problem as I see it is how to control the vets ?

In reply to by shytownlds

Other trainers and veterinarians should be walking in fear. In my opinion, the owners should be taking the rap as well. They pay for these drugs and allow the trainer/vet combo to administer them. Dr. Allison Moore stated that it is a timing issue with the administration of these drugs that is going to be contested. Everyone connected to giving these drugs to racehorses should be well aware of their cutoff times. You might make a mistake once or twice but 1700 times in a space of twenty eight months??? I don't think so. Pick any of these horses listed and you can see where they have consistently (on a weekly basis) been given a concoction of drugs inside of the cutoff times. Pena says that his "edge" is simply "method training". Some method!! I still can't understand why none of these horses tested positive over the 28 months and 675 races. Not only have the other owners, trainers and bettors been cheated but the horses have been treated like pincushions. They all deserve better!

The classic definition of discrimination is to treat one individual different from any other. For the NY Racing board, the USTA, Meadowlands Racetrack, to maintain any sense of fairness and respectability they must inspect the veterinary records of ALL the trainers at their respective tracks.... Do you think they will do that? Are you in favor of that horsemen?

Why stop at checking vet records for just 1 trainer. Check them all.

Mr. Pena and the Mr. Penas of the past and future are our biggest problem and the reason that this sport has not flourished as it should.I would like to invoke the spirit of Stanley Bergstein here and hope against hope that the cheaters at the raceways and racetracks get easier to find and expel from our sport. No it wasn't really, really good hay or imported mineral water that produced these ridiculous Pena statistics. Our racehorces need constant maintenance; not necessarily constant tweaking from "medications".When Jeff Gural did what he did vis-a-vis Mr. Pena , I supported him fully, even though it could have been seen as an overly prophalactic response to a crippling problem. Oh, and by the way ,you guys that question why Mr. Pena would be singled out here as far as medicating his horses his way and that what has been found in veterniary records is not as eggreious as all that: this is only what has been recorded in veterniary records. See you at the races, Jim Feeley

In reply to by salt hill

Brown Boy??? Are you Kidding me??? This has nothing to do with 1,700 violations??? Don't pull the race-card crap. You are hurting every hard-working person that loves this sport. Is that all you could come up with???

In reply to by salt hill

Mr Feeley
You talk about ridding our sport of cheaters.Do you read the positive test page on standardbred Canada with any regularity? And the number of horses under suspension is not even up to date. Check out the fines and suspensions to those who violate.Most times its a slap on the wrist and allows the violator time for a nice relaxing vacation down south.Racing needs to clean up its act in Canada as well.I don't know Mr Pena but I have serious doubts that he is the only trainer guilty of the charges against him and would suspect if some of the other top trainers records were scrutinized there would be a lot of assistant trainers promoted to head trainer status.This sport needs a zero tolerance for cheating but will never happen as the people in charge are afraid of the big names in the sport.It has always been and will always be who you are that dictates repercussions.I doubt that this will get posted as my comments very seldom are. I agree that cheaters need to be removed from the sport but it has to be done consistently and fairly. Personally I think the Pena situation is a witch hunt.

I checked out just two of the horses on the very extensive list. Just picked them randomly. According to the veterinary list of substances, these horses were apparently administered the following:

Wesley Snip (gelding) raced on 1/16/10 at Yonkers
Finished 8th by 6H

1. Cromolyn Sodium (anti-inflammatory)
2. Factrel (indicated for the treatment of ovarian cysts in cattle) ????
3. Robinul (used with Lasix for bleeding)
4. Robaxin

The Rising N (gelding) raced on May 21/10 at Yonkers, finishing 5th by 7 lengths.

1. Firocoxib (NSAID anti-inflammatory)
2. Cromolyn Sodium
3. Robinul
4. Factrel
5. Robaxin

If a horse needs all of this crap to race, it needs a green field even more. Factrel for geldings??? Give me a break. It's stuff like this that kills racing. Where are the authorities and why aren't they doing their job? Where is the protection for the horses? What bloody vet authorizes this? If any of this stuff is used therapeutically, it shouldn't be showing up on race day. Makes me sick.

It is not the administration of the medications per se that is the problem - it is the timing of administration. New York rules are different from Ontario rules. Go to this link and it will show that they are charging him with administering the products inside of their respective permitted time frames

If Mr. Pena is on the up and up there should be a vet record for each horse with what was administered and when and it should correlate to what was found by NY testing. While I agree some of the things listed are rather benign I do not believe he is a qualified vet nor should he have latitude is this area. In short, the vets own records may be used to shorten the training career of Mr. Pena if they do not match NY testing findings. The devil is always in the details.

This story SMELLS BAD, IT STINKS AND IS ROTTEN,why would a racing commission wait 2 yrs, 1700 test, before doing something about it. Get a D.U.I. you get a fine, 2 D.U.I.s, you get a fine and a suspension,3 D.U.Is a big fine and a very LONG suspension. Why was Mr. Pena not suspended for a very long time after 3 positives????????.Because maybe they had nothing to go on so they referred to the Vet records.It SMELLS.THIS IS JUST FOOD FOR THOUGHT,all racing commisions stick together, USA CANADA EUROPE,due to the racing situation in Ontario, how much would you pay or the Ontario Gouv. pay for a story like this, and why at a time like this??????. JUST FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Have a good day.

I was not aware that epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)was a non-therapeutic performance enhancer. I'm also pretty sure he's not the only trainer in America using ACTH, polyglycan and ulcer medications. If all these drugs were illegal and given outside legal perameters why have they not tested positive in over 1800 instances? Are we then going to subject all NY & NJ trainers to these standards? I was never a Lou Pena fan but this not only will lead to an extended legal battle and a huge self-inflicted black eye on the sport but once again expose the incompetence of our regulators.

In reply to by Gatesb

you are correct, this is sheer stupidity. It makes the game look bad, you cant get suspended because you used therapeutics , this will never stand up in court.If this was done a WEG there would be 6 positives per race. these are horses that didnt even get checks. these horses were tested to the largest extent and were clean, you know why? cause none of these meds are testable outside the legal range? for all we know the vet could get on the stand and say he might have wrote wrong date down. case dismissed. this is a waste of money and damaging to the sport and will change nothing, except now trainers wont want the vets to treat horses, they and employees will doit, buying meds in bulk. A step backwards, actually.

there will always be corrupt people in every industry. Some just never learn.

Blair Burgess is correct. How many trainers would be able to withstand the laser like analysis of each horse's vet records? No positive tests, but medications outside mandated time requirements.

This stinks. This is a witchhunt. Majority of horses race on these meds weekly if needed. If this happens at all tracks there will be few trainers left. These meds used improperly would test positive and some dont test. How can you get an infraction for a drug that is not testable or therapeutic?
Mag sulphate? are you joking ? it is saltwater basically. At my track I would guess %50 of claimers race on this shot given by vets 3hrs to post. It helps breathing, maybe. It has been used for 20 yrs. Lots of people train their horses on robinul 4 days out to help with opening airways or bleeder prevention. $Using hyaluronic acid is now not allowed? it does wonders for horses.
you cant inject cortisone 5 days out? please.100s of horses would test positive weekly.
I know lou personally but havent seen him for 10 years or more since he was in California. I dont like the man much. If people are dumb enough to think that one thing on this list is what gives him his edge you are delusional. sure its excessive when u see them listed out but I promise you the top 10 trainers at every track use some of these meds weekly. This is not the bad stuff people.
the bad stuff doesnt come in the vet records.

I can only hope that this is just "The Beginning," because from what I can see there are numerous harness racing trainers/drivers/& owners who support illegal racing activities. It's about time the bad guys begin to be busted, because right now we have too many miracle trainers who are in reality just privy to the best chemistry.
Why not be honest for once and perhaps we will have a sport to return to after the uproar; otherwise, to believe Pena is the only one, is racing with blinders-on, which makes the sport extremely difficult and frustrating for those who are honest. If we provide a bounty for proven wrongdoing, then we will rid more of the bad guys. Of course, those reading this who disagree will probably be one of those bad guys. At this rate, how much longer do you believe fans will continue to support our sport? If we can see this report on Pena as a beginning, why did it take so long to obtain supporting data to indict Pena? We can only hope the proper agencies begin to do their job, because right now I believe most of the testing is nothing more than just a show. All Vetinarian data should be placed into a database, which tells who accesses all drugs, so the bad guys can be reveals; then perhaps, there is HOPE in Muddville.

Most good trainers race both pacers and trotters almost equally as well. Pena never raced trotters with nearly the success as he did with pacers. As a bettor it is not too hard to tell which trainer has something "special" other than the horse's natural gifts when their horses hit the track. What the US needs are far stiffer penalties for rogue trainers. Take California for example: a trainer can get numerous positives before ANY action is really taken. Then the trainer simply gets a lawyer and drags things out for years until charges are dropped. Look at the jockey colony.......Patrick Valenzuela has had so many drug infractions (more positives than a trainer), California is laughable at best. In the short run this may not go well for harness racing but in the long run will improve the sport. As a bettor I applaud ALL honest trainers and all states that view positives as seriously as they should be taken.

In reply to by Rwiskavitch

not training trotters is not a measure of a trainers greatness. western trainers have never had the luxury of trotters, so they likely avoid them. trotters still get sick , lame, sour, bleed,ulcers, etc. the best trainers prevent their atheletes from suffering these problems. if you think facteral makes the difference in penas success you are mistaken. its purely an anecdotal med that shouldnot even work on geldings. these meds only kept the hporses healthy enough to withstand the stuff not coming from a vet. I feel sorry for many of your ignorance to the subject.

In reply to by billyjojimbob

Growing up we always had a horse or two for the fairs so I understand the basics. After college I decided to use statistics to prove various trainers effectiveness with pacers and trotters separately. What I found was revealing as certain trainers were actually better with trotters than pacers and their roi was far greater than a trainer with reverse credentials. Certain trainers were equal in their overall effectiveness and some were less than stellar. As a bettor I use these stats to pick out many times under the radar trainers with live horses which proves handy in exotic bets. My bottom line is honest racing and with the right information a good payout. Belittle me if you will, does not prove any point. One thing stats do tell is you stand a much less chance of making money as a bettor on a Pena trained horse......this is a fact.

When Pena was suspended from training at Yonkers while so many were defending him because "he had done nothing wrong and the track can't simply suspend someone for what they think he was doing" I was one of the few who applauded that move VERY LOUDLY. You would have to be a total fool not to see what was really going on. I have been around this game going on 4 decades now and I don't care who or how good you think you are no trainer is that good that he is simply going to tower over others who have been training just as long or longer. It is an insult to those fine hard working honest trainers to actually believe that. This is the kind of garbage that has ruined this game that I used to love. Trainers who get 30K claimers and suddenly their world beaters.Give me a break. Get these fools, these cheaters and we all know there are more out of the game. The game is hurting enough without these guys. This is a large reason why I quit first as an owner and then as a fan. If the palying field isn't going to be level then I want nothing to do with it thank you very much.
The only way people will even consider coming back to the races whether as a fan or as an owner is whne they feel they are getting a fair shake for their money and I have been saying for a very long time that that is nowhere near being the case.
And if you think otherwise you are more naive then I thought you were.

In reply to by fantom

Joe, there are other reasons and fans are leaving the game. Take a careful look at video from Friday night's racing at the Meadowlands. Judges need to hand down more suspensions for driver lack of effort. There were at least three races that require attention. If we are going to hang a trainer who like many was lax on time administration rules, we sure as heck want drivers to give full effort in every race.

In reply to by fantom

Joe, what you forget to mention is that Lou was at home having his afternoon nap when the vet was doing his work at the barn.Unless they have a "SIGNED" direction from Lou to the vet to do this work, then what do they have as proof ? All they have done is a audit on the vet.Thats all.They may have him on trainer responsability,but there would be big argument in court over that.Ive said on other blog that ZERO tolerance is the way to go.All horses that race at Mohawk should be on grounds minimum 15 days before race.All vets have to have all drugs they bring on grounds cleared and stickered or stamp on them.When they leave grounds they leave all drugs at gate or designated location.
If they check all vet records,there are a "LOT" of guys gone.I bet you there are a lot of vets re-doing some paperwork as we speak.

I couldn't find anywhere in this article that says how they know he has misused or administered these drugs outside the accepted guidelines. I certainly hope that if he had 1,700 post race positives it wouldn't have taken two years to take action.

I don't figure Mr. Pena is completely innocent, but before we all prosecute him without evidence, we must consider that how very possible it is that the NYSWB is using Mr Pena as a scapegoat. The NYSWB have some very serious allegations being thrown at them and charging one trainer with 1,700 drug violations and possibly $42 million dollars in fines is going to create a media frenzy. My guess is that they're hoping that the media forget about their own indiscretions while feasting on Mr. Pena.

It doesn't take a reasonable person long to determine that Lou Pena and his dominance in a tough marketplace wasn't coming from water and hay. This is certainly the most high profile and talked about individual in my memory. I remember asking a vet what else would cause the positives in Lexington a few years back. ( They were thrown out on a technical issue) The answer was quite succinct. "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a's a duck". Guys like Pena are bad for racing, they always have been and always will be.

Horse racing started to determine who had the fastest horse. Too bad greed took over racing being about the horse! Too bad it took two years & 675 races for a suspension--how does this read in the newspapers for public perception & here we are in Ontario fighting for racing? Does a horse needs this much therapeutic medicine or is it GREED instead of doing what is best for the animal? Why can't horse racing be about the animal?

I guess 1700 violations isnt enough for some people..what does it take? an appeal,,,this is why this sport is what it is,,,,bring on a commish.. defending people who rob the general public along with other horseman makes sence to me, to be on there side of the fence is ludicrous......its all called harness racing currently until it actually grabs some balls.. A Commish for all of NA is sorely needed....

This goes way beyond therapeutic drugs. Why would all these horses need to be treated with "factrel" every time they raced? Harness racing is going to get big publicity out of this -all bad.

Not that I want to defend Lou Pena, but isn't this like getting Al Capone for tax evasion. Many things on this list of infractions are presently considered therapeutic if administered within presently accepted parameters. If the use of these products is not acceptable they better give a "heads up" as probably 99% of trainers and vets operating in New Jersey or New York would be in violation. It doesn't sound like Pena got a positive test for any of these violations. Announcements like this give Racing in general a bad name. Fine if he should be out of Racing but remove him for what he may or may not be "really" doing wrong.

In reply to by Blair Burgess

Many of those drugs listed are used daily by trainers here in Ontario. They have prescribed cutoff dates so they won't test positive in post race testing. There isn't a trainer who reads this that doesn't know that. I would be curious to know that if the ORC came to a barn and did out of competition testing to a horse and found any of these drugs in a horses system, that were mentioned in New Yorks release, would they be fined and suspended here in Ontario as well?

Gary Blackburn

What a shock and i thought that the water and the hay that he was feeding to his horses was so superior to the water and hay that other trainers were using. that it had to be the sole reason that he was dominating the sport.Now lets get serious, to all of those a while back who was backing this guy and complaining about the race game(yonkers) taking a preemptive strike for the good of the game i hope you are giving your head a serious shake. If it looks way to good to be true you can bet your bottom dollar that it is. No one can lay over the competition the way he did by legal means. The game got something right for a change stood up and done what was right and should have been backed by one and all but there was all kinds saying let this man race when a blind person would know that it was not on the up and up.

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